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Innovation & Job News

Moffitt Cancer Center Fuels Biotech Startups, Tampa

H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center’s Office of Technology Management and Commercialization (OTMC) is fueling medical innovations and helping to launch biotechnical startups within Tampa Bay.

Over the past four years, OTMC has launched 13 startups centered on the technological advancement of new drugs, new diagnostics and new devices that will improve the quality of patient care.

The core focus of OTMC is to set an infrastructure to facilitate the launch of faculty startups. By partnering with faculty, staff and industry leaders, medical innovations and discoveries are placed in an environment where technology can be further developed and eventually translated into commercial products that will benefit patients.

“Startups out of Moffitt are providing a number of benefits regionally and statewide. It’s creating new jobs, drawing attention to our region from outside investors so that we can access capital, and it’s also drawing attention from pharmaceutical companies and biotechnical firms interested in partnering or expanding to the state,” says Jarrett Rieger, director of OTMC.

The annual Business of Biotech conference is designed to create an atmosphere for faculty startups to interact with investors and the medical community to help further their success. The 2013 conference, which drew more than 350 participants as well as industry representation from outside of Florida, featured an investor forum, providing startups an opportunity to pitch business ideas to investors while receiving valuable feedback on developmental and funding milestones.

The 2014 Business of Biotech conference will focus on bringing additional business development officers from large pharmaceutical and biotech companies to foster more industry collaborations with the local area.

“It’s a high priority because the funding environment is changing. Academic institutions are looking to continue to support their innovations and research, and one way is to partner with industry. It is a big effort at Moffitt and other academic institutions to forge those types of relationships,” says Rieger.

Several of Moffitt’s faculty members have launched new companies and are gaining traction towards licensing medical technologies. Many startups are raising capital and have partnered with venture capitalists and the Florida Institute for the Commercialization of Public Research to help fund critically needed medical studies.

Tampa’s growing medical market paired with technological innovations is a natural stimulant for the Tampa Bay region.

“The larger our presence in the biotech, life science and medical device area -- the more research and innovation going on here, the greater the probability that we’ll be able to attract biotech businesses to our region.”

For information on OTMC, new technologies, and startups visit their website or call 813.745.6828.

Writer: Kaye Brown
Source: Jarrett Rieger, Moffitt Cancer Center Office of Technology Management and Commercialization
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